You can learn how to swim. I learned how to swim when I was a teenager, so I know what it is like to be bigger and older than anyone else in the class. I was the only “big kid” in a class of 5 and 6 years old “puddlers”. Fortunately, the instructor was very sweet and didn’t make me feel foolish, but I worked hard so that I could graduate and become a “minnow” and then later a “shark.” I hope that you aren’t refusing to learn how to swim because you think you are too old or too timid. The YMCA’s and Community centers have lessons for grown-ups now, so you will never be made to feel like you are the odd man out. I can’t promise that you won’t be the oldest one in the class, but I won’t tell if you don’t.
If you are looking for an enjoyable, healthy way to improve your fitness level, perhaps you should consider swimming. Just because most people learn when they are children does not mean that you missed your chance. Swimming and other aquatic exercises are the perfect fitness workouts for people who suffer from arthritis and other chronic pain conditions. The Wall Street Journal featured an article by Jeremy Singer-Vine this morning (February 14, 2012) about swimming and good health. Recent studies by the American Journal of Cardiology indicate that older, more sedentary adults can benefit from this form of exercise. Swimming, it seems, can be instrumental in reducing blood pressure and improving artery health.
If you don’t know how to swim at all it will be more challenging than going for a walk, but when have you ever backed away from a challenge? Swimming exercises most of the muscles in the body without the pounding on the knees and joints that can occur with walking, jogging or running, because the water supports your joints. Swimming is a non weight-bearing sport. For this reason, physicians often recommend swimming and water exercise for older adults, disabled people and for those recovering from broken bones and back injuries.
If you still can’t stand to get your face wet (come on, give it a try, you can learn how to swim even if it is just the dog paddle or side stroke), you will be pleased to learn that water exercises have been designed for non-swimmers as well.
Water exercises are fun and they are therapeutic. Water exercises can help people regain fitness levels, mobility, strength, endurance, and flexibility to all body parts. Aqua aerobics, aqua exercise, water walking and aquatic dance exercises are all fancy names used to entice you into the water. How can you resist? Free from the effects of gravity, senior adults can move easily in the water. This form of exercise meets the needs of persons of all ages and conditions.